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2020 Xmas: Port Harcourt Residents Grapple With Realities

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The year 2020, will go down the anals of history, globally, as one of the most turbulent years, that confounded nations through the COVID crisis and its attendant consequences.
The corona virus proved to be a formidable foe, culminating in negative social consequences like the #ENDSARS protest that sent wild signals across the nation.
With the eventful year dragging to its sluggish end, the spontaneous effects of the season are missing, and the people are barely counting their days to get off the rigours and encumbrances of 2020.
Most of the residents of Port Harcourt, who spoke with The Tide existent, observed that the regular routines of christmas, such as, the rush buying, jingle bells, euphoria and definitive aura that pushed the season, are grossly elusive.
One of the respondents, Mr Promise Mene, said the 2020, Christmas celebration defines the spirit of the era.
He said: “The echoes of the yearly chiming bell is fainty, there is no excitement of Christmas which we are used to, over the years, the activities of the year 2020 are lessons for everyone.
My observation is that the people just relapse into eventual outcomes of the year, and I ‘m convinced this experience will certainly help them in the years to come”.
Another respondent, Mr Ikpotu Wilson, said, the buildup to the Christmas was already a signal for the people to prepare for the worst.
Wilson, a rig worker, who lost his job, during the peak of the COVID 19 pandemic said, he had already learnt to cope with the difficult moments, since his job was halted indefinitely. “Since the month of June when my job was interrupted by the COVID- 19, I ‘ve not been called back”, he said.
It’s very difficult for my family to eat, I believe that things will get better, and I return back to work, I ‘m a welder by training.
Another respondent, Teddy Soah, a stand up comedian, who spoke with the Tide metro, said, “my observation is that corona virus had been able to bridge the gap between the rich and poor. It’s only in the corona crisis that the rich want to hook up consciously with the poor, the rich want it to sound as a disease for the poor, and the poor pray that it should remain within the realms of the rich”.
Mr Nelly a commercial motorist, Nelly Wiga, said he missed the aura of the Christmas season. He said, “by this time you see, people, making moves to travel to their various communities, but this urge is not there among the people; every body is careful about how to manage themselves especially now that they say corona virus is fully back, many people may not travel to their communities this year”.
According to Mr Felix Dornah, people should be grateful to God for keeping them to see this year’s Christmas, instead of complaining.
He pointed out that, “during the covid pandemic, many families got shattered as husband and wife were separated, teenagers got raped and impregnated, several abominable things, ignited by lack and poverty happened, I pray that the spirit of the season of Christmas, which brings good tidings to the world will shield us from the dangers of the times”.
Another respondent, Mrs Abigail Todun, who deals on cloth, said she recorded very low patronage this year as people seemed to concentrate on how to bring food to their tables than to buy cloths. “I deal on buying and selling of cloths, and I have been in this business for over 12 years, but this year is one of the worst years. Apart from the difficulties we faced to get the products, we also find it difficult to sell, as they always complain of no money”.
For Barr Barivule Kpobe, “2020 is a very tough year’. In this year, we had corona virus, endsars protest and a list of endless cases of kidnappings, extra-judicial killings, rape and other malfeasances, that have constituted a snag in our development process. I can tell you now that families exist who can barely get a meal even at christmas not to imagine the pleasure of it,
Mrs Essien Clifford, who deals on food stuff also lamented about low patronage in her business, as the expected level of turnover in the season was quite disappointing. She however expressed gratitude to God for keeping her and family to see the 2020 Christmas.
Another conspicuous feature of the season is the long queues and sometimes fight at banks and their ATM services as people struggle to outsmart each other and beat the hiccups of clever bank operatives, trying to explore the situations to their personal advantages.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Metro

Rivers, A Global Investment Hub

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Nothing could be more elusive and desirous as the special skills and talent of a wand and a midas touch. Dr Freeman O’ Freeman is one the few possessive of this rare gift. He has a penchant for the reorganization of ailing industries, organizations and institutions. The foremost technocrat and consultant was recently spotted by the Port Harcourt Metro at a public function in the Garden city. When his attention was sought for an interview he willingly obliged an the session was a deep insight into his experience especially his years of consultancy services with the Rivers state Government in the  early 1990s. During these period he recalled that 14 parastalals and government agencies including the three state owned media Houses were under his consultancy services for full reorganisation process. “We made the State Electricity Board to be the highest revenue earner after the Ministry of finance, we also made the staffs of Water Board, Super Board, and Rivers Marine to earn their salary after the reorganization processes, some of the moribond companies can still be revived.”  He said Rivers state was deeply blessed with potentials to host the business world through flourishing business activities, nothing that most black Americans business moguls were looking for opportunities of investing their wealth and knowledge. Dr Freeman who is also and author and religious counsellor emphasized the need for proper restructuring of the Nigerian state to address the needs and imperatives of justice in the country. He canvassed for the creation of a state owned insurance company to secure the wealth and investments of  Rivers state. “ Rivers state is global investment hub, their is need to decongest Lagos by tapping into the enormous investment potentials in Rivers state, it’s quite unfortunate that investments of Rivers state government are easing out without full privileges to the state government, despite hosting two federal terminals economic activities in the state is still low. I want the Rivers state government to reap the benefit of insurance before Governor Wike leaves office, it will count for him as one his greatest legacies for Rivers people. Commenting on the prevalence of ethno religious crisis in the country, he pointed out the very custodians of religious faith were the propellers of the evolving Crisis. “it’s very unfortunate that people don’t practice what they preach, the much resources in the hands of the ministers should be redirected for the interest of the followers, the early missionaries gave education virtually free. Ministers should allow their members to have leveraging access to their schools, this will reduced the loads of poor parents and help in producing an informed and better society”. With a deep sense of concern, he urged the federal government to address the growing spate of insecurity in country, particularly the “ incautious activities of herders.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Wife Battery: Man Forced To Undertaken By In-laws

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In a bid to restore the marriage of a certain couple in Port Harcourt, ( names withheld) the family members and parents of the wife has forced the husband to an undertaken that he will no longer used their daughter as a punch bag. The Port Harcourt Metro gathered the parents of the wife are relatively well to do very supportive to the upkeep of their daughters family. Their intervention came as a result of repeated cases of physical and psychological abuses of their daughter by her husband. It was also gathered that the parents of the wife had made moves to terminate the relationship to secure the life of their daughter but she bluffed their moves and stuck to the marriage based on her professed love for the husband. The husband was said to have been invited to an intense family session during which he was asked to sign an undertaken to be of good conduct and act as a responsible man or gets his wife forfeited. The session became dramatic when the repentant husband and in-law was said to have broken down in tears , with confessions that he was always propelled by some incontrollable forces to act the way he did.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Group Plans Grassroots Medical Campaign

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As part of measures of promoting effective medical care at the grassroots, a body under the auspices of Medical  Xray and Imaging Technicians Association of Nigeria says plans has been put in place for mass sensitisation on the need for greater access to medical services at the rural areas. National President of the body, Rev Akiene Nunyor who disclosed this during a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said the sensitisation was targeted at rousing the sensitivities of critical stakeholders towards improving health care at the rural areas as well as creating awareness among the rural dwellers. He pointed out that the absence of ultra sound facilities at rural communities was responsible for high mortality among pregnant women in rural communities, as they lacked access to the facilities. Its difficult for women to go for scan exercises for proper medical check at the rural areas. In times of emergencies before they get to the urban areas that have the facilities it becomes late. He called for a synergy between the private sector and government especially in the area of research, training and manpower development in the health sector,  He assured that the body was ready to provide the professional regulatory services for middle manpower development and standards in medical practice. While commending the Rivers state Government for its efforts in promoting care in the state he called for a “ Public/ Private sector  driven “approach in promoting effective health sector delivery.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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